It was a busy and successful week on the SMUS sporting front, with several teams qualifying for BCs and others positioning themselves to do so.
The Cross Country squad, racing in a highly competitive Island meet at Beaver Lake, turned in some excellent performances. On the boys’ side, Jack Batoni ran outstandingly well, coming in 27th overall in an elite field to capture one of the at-large berths to the provincial meet November 3 in Nanaimo.
The girls’ squad ran the same 6.7-km course. Junior call-up Kristina Matthews led the way with an impressive 18th-place finish, while Emma Coetze, Angel Lan, Gigi Ma, Karina Morales, Kelly Jiang and Fionnuala McKenna placed between 35th and 55th. This solid packing produced a 5th-place overall team finish and the final Island place to provincials.
At the Middle School level, this past weekend saw Grade 6 student Owen S. participate in the BC Championships. Owen had already enjoyed an impressive season winning almost every race that he has competed in and approached this final event with confidence. The BC championships were held in Abbotsford and Owen had to race 3-km over hills and through mud. Against tough and experienced competition, Owen decided to start slowly and then pass runners who were tiring in the last half of the race. This strategy worked exceptionally well, as Owen moved from 8th into 2nd place. The final 100-metre sprint to line was thrilling battle with several runners desperately trying to win a medal. Owen prevailed and secured a brilliant bronze medal.
The Senior girls, led by Cordel Tromp’s two goals and fine performances from Elle Nelson and Lizzy Bass, first defeated Glenlyon Norfolk School 3-0 to claim the South No. 1 seed to the Island AA tournament.
At the tournament, the team topped its pool after a 1-1 draw versus Lambrick Park and a 3-0 victory versus Brentwood. In the semi-final, though conceding an early score to GNS, the Blue Jags rebounded nicely to win 3-1. Suzie Stone was a constant threat in attack, while Jenna Coward, Stephanie Ganz and Haley Sinclair all turned in solid efforts.
A slow start against Shawnigan proved disastrous in the final, with a three-goal deficit after just eight minutes was going to be very hard to overcome. Nonetheless, SMUS qualified for the BC AA championships, set to take place at UBC November 7-9.
The Senior boys squad, on the heels of a disappointing 4-1 loss to Claremont, then bounced back with its best all-round performance of the term, traveling to Royal Bay and securing a vital 1-0 victory. A physical and tense game remained scoreless until Andrei Mironov powerfully volleyed home the winning goal with four minutes to play. Goalkeeper Franklin Lu was also highly influential, making several quality saves at key moments.
With this crucial win, SMUS finishes fourth in local league play. The team will enter the Island AA tournament in Campbell River on November 7-8 as the South No. 1 seed.
At the BC Junior Squash Open, SMUS athletes produced multiple fine finishes. Lucas Q. won the Boys U13 competition, while Jay Herring (Boys U17), Sofia Quon (Girls U17) and Alex Brown (Girls U19) finished second in their events. Matias Totz also reached the podium in the Boys U17 event, with Alden Weymar and Christian Yuen also playing well.
Grade 9 rugby traveled to St. George’s School in Vancouver, with the hosts claiming a 37-22 victory. Both sides made light of the slippery surface and constant rain, moving the ball about with abandon and scoring some fine tries. Dave Duru led the way for SMUS, well supported by Eric Xiong and Emiliano Aziz. The team looks forward to its closing game versus Collingwood on November 1.
Five SMUS athletes from our Senior and Middle Schools competed at the Kamloops Sevens Tournament, representing the girls’ sides for the Castaway Wanderers and each bringing home a medal. Eliska Slukova, competing in the U16 Girls division, took home a gold medal; Chloe Hill-Huse, Kenzi Farish and Sophia Tafel earned silver in the U19 Girls Elite division; and Ava O. was on the bronze medal-winning U14 Girls team. Great performances by all of the athletes bodes well for a strong spring season for our girls rugby squads.
The Senior boys defeated Royal Bay in league action, but dropped decisions to Lambrick Park and Reynolds. The team then traveled to Vancouver for the ISA event, playing extremely well to win the tournament versus host St. George’s. Tristan Kuhn led a balanced effort, with all players contributing to the 28-26, 26-24 final match.
The Senior girls likewise readied themselves for City playoff action, playing well at their own ISAs at Crofton House. Bella Leong won a tournament team award for her attitude and all-round play, with Kiri Ngawati also performing well. Veronica Franco and Marina Fabris made the transition from the Junior level to the Senior level for the first time and contributed a great deal.
At the Junior girls level, Franco and Fabris were also prominent, with SMUS sweeping Oak Bay and splitting a two-game set versus Belmont.
(Girls rugby images courtesy of BC Rugby)